The decision was made based on technical evaluation and victim findings, as well as meetings with victims' families and interrelated institutions, the head of Indonesia's search and rescue agency said; however, he added that they will still respond and follow up reports from people who may see or find alleged victims.
JAKARTA, Jan. 22 (Xinhua) -- Indonesia's search and rescue agency said on Thursday that it stopped its efforts to recover the wreckage of a Sriwijaya Air plane almost two weeks after the aircraft crashed into Java Sea.
The agency's head Bagus Puruhito announced the termination of the search operation at the Tanjung Priok seaport at 4:57 p.m. local time. The decision, he said, was made based on technical evaluation and victim findings, as well as meetings with victims' families and interrelated institutions.
To date, rescuers have retrieved as many as 324 body bags containing human remains. Moreover, a total of 68 bags comprising small pieces of aircraft debris, 55 large parts of debris, the Flight Data Recorder (FDR) and Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) electric unit, have been recovered.
Despite the decision to cease the operation, Puruhito said his team will still respond and follow up reports from people who may see or find alleged victims.
Prior to its termination, the search operation was extended for three days twice. It involved more than 4,300 personnel, 62 ships and 15 planes.
The SJ-182 plane, a Boeing 737-500 aircraft, was carrying 62 people when it disappeared from the radar screens minutes after taking off from Jakarta.
As many as 43 victims have been identified by authorities as of Thursday afternoon.